In the last decade, the white share of the population dropped in all 50 states.
“The percentage of the country that is non-Hispanic white is decreasing and more and more jurisdictions, states, big cities are becoming majority people of color,” said Melissa Michelson, a political scientist at Menlo College who studies population trends. “People of color are gaining in power.”
Washington state saw its white population shrink by the largest margin of any state, down 8.7 percentage points over the last decade. Massachusetts, Nevada and Connecticut all saw declines of more than 8 percentage points as they become more diverse.
Six states are majority minority, meaning they have more minority residents than white residents: Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Texas were on that list 10 years ago. Now, Nevada and Maryland have joined them.
Even the whitest states in the nation got more diverse. In the last decade, four states — New Hampshire, West Virginia, Vermont and Maine — were more than 90 percent white. Now, only Maine is still above the 9-in-10 mark.
The only place it increased: Washington, D.C., where whites now trail Black Americans as a share of the population by just 2 percentage points.
The findings of the U.S. Census Bureau, released Thursday, marked a historic moment: for the first time on record, the white population declined. California beat the national trend with a white population that declined by 1.2 million people, or 8.3%, according to 2020 census data.
Across California, white people declined as a share of the population from 40.1% to 34.7%. Latinos also became the largest ethnic group in California, making up 39.4% of the population statewide, according to the census data.